The British Army’s airborne forces are testing their ability to fight alongside mechanised infantry from key European and NATO allies.
16 Air Assault Brigade is heading up the ground element of the two-week long (21 Apr to 4 May 18) Exercise Joint Warrior, which sees more than 11,600 military personnel from 17 nations training in the UK.
The training challenges ground, maritime and air forces to work together to tackle complex scenarios involving multiple sovereign nations disputing resources and territories, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling activity, information warfare and evacuation operations.
16 Air Asslt Bde is in command of a highly capable multinational force training on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire. The force is made up of:
-- 3 PARA Battlegroup, built around the airborne infantry of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment bolstered by artillery, engineers, medics, signallers and logisticians;
-- the Danish Army’s II Panserinfanteribataljon Jydske Dragonregiment (2 JDR), a mechanised infantry battlegroup including Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Swedish troops; and
-- Aviation Task Force 1, commanded by 4 Regiment Army Air Corps with Apache attack helicopters, Wildcat utility helicopters and RAF Chinook and Puma 2 transport helicopters.
Across the exercise, the force will practise using the air manoeuvre capabilities of 3 PARA and ATF-1 to support and enable 2 JDR operations on the ground.
The training began in earnest with some 200 soldiers of 3 PARA Battlegroup carrying out a parachute jump onto Imber from RAF C-130 Hercules.